Thursday, June 28, 2018


Welcome! Poetry Friday is here today!

Every time it is my turn to host Poetry Friday, I hope I will think of something special and wonderful and spectacular to share. Mostly I don't. But today, I think I kind of do have something, or at least someone, special and wonderful and spectacular! Please allow me to introduce you to Lynn Ungar. Lynn is a Unitarian minister, a dog trainer, a singer and contra dancer. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her wife and teenage daughter, and several dogs and cats.

Most importantly, at least for today, Lynn is a poet. I don't even know how exactly to describe her poetry, except to say that she uses small details to share big truths, just like Marge Piercy, and Mary Oliver, and Barbara Crooker do. She reminds to watch and breathe and celebrate the miraculous ordinary. And somehow, in these weeks when every day seems to bring new atrocities and new sadness, that's very comforting to me.  Here is a new favorite poem that I found on Lynn's website.

"The Last Good Days"
by Lynn Ungar

What will you do with the last good days?
Before the seas rise and the skies close in,
before the terrible bill
for all our thoughtless wanting
finally comes due?

What will you do
with the last fresh morning,
filled with the watermelon scent
of cut grass and the insistent
bird calling sweet  sweet
across the shining day?

Crops are dying, economies failing,
men crazy with the lust for power and fame
are shooting up movie theaters and
engineering the profits of banks.

It is entirely possible
it only gets worse from here.
How can you leave your heart
open to such a vast, pervasive sadness?
How can you close your eyes
to the riot of joy and beauty
that remains?

The solutions, if there are any
to be had, are complex, detailed,
demanding. The answers
are immediate and small.

Wake up. Give thanks. Sing.

Another poem I absolutely loved, and actually considered sharing, is  Camas Lilies

Lynn's Website is here
On the website you can read more of Lynn's poems. 
You can listen to Lynn read several of her poems, including "The Last Good Days."
You can read other writing by Lynn or read her musings, which are also poetry. 

You can buy Lynn's book, BREAD AND OTHER MIRACLES, here.

Leave your comments below and I will upload them throughout the day.

Wishing you peace…


Tabatha said...

Thanks for sharing this new-to-me poet and for hosting! I like "before the terrible bill/for all our thoughtless wanting/finally comes due." I have a found poem about plants today:

Molly Hogan said...

This says it all, doesn't it? The million dollar question...
"It is entirely possible
it only gets worse from here.
How can you leave your heart
open to such a vast, pervasive sadness?
How can you close your eyes
to the riot of joy and beauty
that remains?"
Thanks for introducing me to Lynn Ungar and this weighty poem and for hosting this week. I'm sharing a poem from Elizabeth Coatsworth today and also my wonderful poetry swap from Margaret Simon.

GatheringBooks said...

Thank you so much for hosting this week! Fats is up for Poetry Friday with this lovely post here:

Michelle Kogan said...

Lynn Ungar's "Camas Lilies" poem is gorgeous. I think I'd like to hang a sign out, as she suggests, that I've gone to join the flowers and I'm blooming–love how she writes this so matter-of-fact,
“Gone to the fields to be lovely. Be back
when I’m through with blooming.”
Thanks for sharing Lynn with us Carol, and for hosting Poetry Friday. I'm sharing a poem, some art, and some of the artist Charles White's artwork all reflecting on Responsibility and Freedom with the 4th of July afoot.

laurasalas said...

Hi Carol, Oh, what hard truths... I'm in with one of my poems from Madness Poetry called (unseasonably) A Thousand Nicknames for Snow:

Thanks for hosting!

Linda B said...

Thanks for hosting this warm day, Carol! And for sharing Lynn's poems and website. I agree that no one should be immune "to the riot of joy and beauty in our lives. I have two poems today, showing the ups & downs, maybe the 'usual' of how we've lived our days recently:

Diane Mayr said...

I always enjoy being introduced to a poet who is new to me--thanks, Carol! At Random Noodling I have ekphrastic cherita with a circus theme. And, Kurious Kitty remembers Donald Hall.

Heidi Mordhorst said...

Back to read your post in detail tomorrow, Carol! For now, I have a new toy to share.

Catherine Flynn said...

"Wake up. Give thanks. Sing." The truth of Lynn Ungar's words makes my heart ache. Thank you for hosting today, Carol. I'm sharing a poem from an Aileen Fisher collection I found in a box of our library's culled books.

Whispers from the Ridge said...

Thank you so much for hosting, Carol! I especially appreciate being introduced to a marvelous poet as well. I'll be back to admire more closely!

Kathryn Apel said...

Oh, I'm with Michelle. That Camas Lillies poem is just gorgeous. I may be AWOL for the weekend (and beyond) - I'm going to find a field to bloom in! Thanks for sharing, Carol. And hosting.

I have exciting news on my blog today - which I've been longing to share with my PoetryFriday peeps. Coming to a store near YOU! :D

Kay said...

Thank you for hosting today and for introducing Lynn and her poetry. That poem just knocked me over. Today I'm enjoying a float down the river--or at least remembering the peace from a recent float

Liz Steinglass said...

Carol, thank you so much for hosting and for sharing that spectacular poem.

Today I have a poem I wrote after visiting the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Ruth said...

Thanks for this wonderful post, and thanks for hosting! I have Margaret Simon's blog tour at my blog this week, and I'm so excited! Here it is:

Irene Latham said...

Carol, what you shared was JUST RIGHT. Thank you! I think life is sweet when I remember to Wake up. Give Thanks. Sing. I am away from my desk this Poetry Friday, but I wanted to at least stop in and say Hello! You're Gorgeous! Happy Poetry Friday! xo

Heidi Mordhorst said...

Gotta love those Unitarians, right? (said Heidi the UU.) I love love love the contrast, that nearly slipped by me, between the big complicated solutions and the small immediate answers. This poem is like a little tonic you put in a small bottle, carry with you, and sip from throughout the day, no icky side effects. : )

Thanks for hosting, Carol.

Tara Smith said...

Thanks for hosting today, and sharing a new-to-me poet, Carol. Here's my contribution, which is a trip down memory lane:

Margaret Simon said...

I made a new friend at ALA and wrote a poem for her. Her name is a star.

Donna Smith said...

I have a link to Monday's post, my poem "Pulse", and today's sharing of
an Edna St.Vincent Millay kinda day.
Thank you for sharing the poem by Lynn. I will check out more on her site.

Erin Mauger said...

Thanks for hosting, Carol. This week I decided to share a poem I've come across as well:

wishing you peace, too. (I like that!)

Little Willow said...

Thank you for hosting! I posted the piece Story by Nayyirah Waheed at my blog, Bildungsroman:

Carol Varsalona said...

Carol. thank you for hosting Poetry Friday and sharing Lynn Ungar's wonderful poetry with the community. Today, I thought I would have my spring gallery, Sense-sational Spring, ready for the unveiling but I am still working on it. I switched gears and created a piece of digital art. It is a tranquil scene on my front porch from which I wrote, "Watering Can Memory". You can find my post at

Janice Scully said...

Lynn Ungar's poem really nails the sense of frustration shared by many but provides hope that there are things that we can do to each day to make the world better. Thanks for sharing her work.